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Sony NWZ-A846 Review - Page 2

post #16 of 45

Thanks for your great review, Mark. I agree the A840 is a mixed bag, mainly because its synergy varies quite widely between IEMs. In fact that's why I never use it as a source for my reviews. Most DDs are fine (and some like the RE1 and FAD1601 even outstanding), but some BAs just sound unimpressive or even somewhat off. Btw I lent my Sony to dfkt some time ago and he told me that his measurements came out pretty bad with multi armatures.

 

Regarding the EQ, it's a pretty good one, but I don't think it's excellent. First of all EQing treble introduces a very slight (but audible) distortion e.g. with my FAD1601, whereas the parametric EQ with my Cowon i9 and rockboxed Fuze do a cleaner job. Second, you can't EQ down bass, which is a major flaw IMO. Clearbass is only good for adding bass and the lowest EQ band is at 400Hz. Try to EQ down an IE8 at 100Hz with the Sony and you'll know what I'm talking about. The only workaround is pushing up all upper bands and risk clipping or distortion with some records.

 

Oh and I second the concerns regarding volume, as some of my classical recordings are simply too silent with the A840 and low-sensitivity IEMs.

 

Bottom line, as much as I like the screen and overall design, the A840 has turned out to be rather a niche player for me (mainly paired with the RE1 or FAD1601), whereas my Samsung R0 and Cowon i9 are getting the lion's share of my listening time.


Edited by james444 - 3/5/11 at 1:33pm
post #17 of 45

james444, when will you finally get to try the UM3X and/ or the new W4?   :)

post #18 of 45

Lovely review, but obvious that we don't see eye to eye on the player itself. I kept it for about a month, and then sold it. Had Sony kept the ability to record full PCM via the line in, I could have rolled my eyes over the hiss, the clicking artefacts, and pretty dire line out performance. Lovely looking, feeling, and decent, but the A828 is overall, a better all-around DAP for playback and recording with better line out and headphone performance.

post #19 of 45

Wonderful review Mark. I was always curious to know what you made of a Sony dap and now I know smile.gif

 

The volume limit would be its biggest drawback for me, since I have some very quiet remasters (that need about 25/30) on my X to get decent volume and I don't know exactly how much quieter the A840 is compared with the X. Also, at this point, there seems to be no way to access the service menu to disable the limit. By the way, did you test the volumes between your iPod and A840? If so, what were the results? Sorry if you already mentioned it, but I'm half asleep.

post #20 of 45

For anyone considering getting the NWZ-A840 series Walkmans, please DO NOT get it and start looking elsewhere. Do not believe the 31 people on Amazon that have given it 5 stars or the 19 people that have given it 4 stars - what do they know? They're not true 'audiophiles': http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B003XMX5D6/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1 . And you must NOT believe any other positive reviews you may find elsewhere, they've all got it terribly wrong.

Let me tell you that this is one of the worst, if not THE worst DAP out there today. Here's why:

1) The volume limit is so, so bad that even the loudest masterings can hardly be heard, even when this DAP is paired with the most sensitive IEMs in the market

2) The line-out is absolute rubbish

3) The hissing is unbearable

4) The clicking artifacts are even worse than the hissing

5) It supports WAV (PCM), WMA, MP3 & AAC file formats, but not FLAC - this is unforgivable. You are not a true audiophile unless you use FLAC

6) It cannot record full PCM - something we all desperately want and need - via line in.

7) The EQ is a complete mess, it will distort anything and everything

8) If you have balanced armature IEMs, they'll sound so much worse than dynamic driver IEMs.

9) The screen is so tiny it's a joke to try and watch any video footage or view photographs

10) The Noise-cancelling feature is just a gimmick and the stock IEMs are no better than those found on even the cheapest DAPs out there

11) It has a propriety connector, like so many DAPs out there - this is completely unacceptable.

12) This DAP is so ridiculously thin that is utterly annoying.

The only nice thing this DAP has got is its looks and, come to think of it, it doesn't look any better that most other DAPs, actually I'm starting to really dislike its looks already. So, no I'm afraid there's nothing about this DAP I can recommend. So, in effect, it's 13 reasons, not 12, why you must NOT buy the NWZ-A840 series Walkmans.


Edited by music_4321 - 3/6/11 at 3:11am
post #21 of 45

Funny, unrestrained reply. I sold mine because it performed worse than my expectations. I buy Sony for live recording, among other things, so my opinions are valid. As for hissing and clicking, those too, are valid. I liked the player a lot, but overall, it was not for me, and I stated that. Obviously, there are loads of people who love it. If all I wanted was music, I might have kept it as it is dead sexy. But my needs require black backgrounds, gapless, and well, PCM recording.

 

Stuff your attitude.

post #22 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus_C View Post

 On my a818, I could reach in my pocket, slide the hold switch and adjust the volume in about 2 seconds, with them on the same side of the player now it's not as easy. I'm nitpicking really though. I love mine.

I agree.

With the A828 i can feel the buttons because they pertude from the body so when its in my pocket i dont have to take it out to select the next song or adjust volume or put the hold on.
 

 


Edited by paulypaul - 3/6/11 at 3:45am
post #23 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post

james444, when will you finally get to try the UM3X and/ or the new W4?   :)


Tbo, I'm pretty torn. On the one hand I've never had a Westone, so it would be about time. On the other hand I haven't been that impressed by the any of the multi armatures I've heard so far. Sound signature wise the W4 looks more promising than the UM3X for my taste. I think I'll just wait until more comparisons to IEMs I know are available. Can't keep up buying a new phone each month anyway...

post #24 of 45

 

Quote:
You are not a true audiophile unless you use FLAC

Lol , you made may day buddybiggrin.gif

post #25 of 45

Quote:
What music_4321 said...


Can you please stop advertising your listing, it's getting rather annoying.

post #26 of 45


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus_C View Post

Can you please stop advertising your listing, it's getting rather annoying.



That's been the sole purpose of all my posts on this thread, starting yesterday, has it?

I wonder why it didn't occur to me to start posting on so many other 'Portable Source Gear' threads when I put my A847 up for sale 3 days ago. Or why I didn't mention the fact I was selling my A847 on my first 2 posts on this thread, and only did so on my third post when I stated I hadn't tried either the X1061 or A847 stock Noise-cancelling IEMs. Perhaps I should have said that the stock A847 IEMs were as good or better than my W4s or UM3Xs to better convince innocent buyers they're getting the best deal ever?

 

And perhaps I should have also started posting on all UM3X-related threads or other top-tier IEM threads in the last 2 weeks and mentioned the sale of my UM3Xs and desperately tried to convince all those innocent, unsuspecting head-fiers and HF visitors that the UM3Xs are the best IEMs ever?

 

Gotta improve my marketing skills, I guess.


Edited by music_4321 - 3/6/11 at 5:32am
post #27 of 45

The earbuds on the A84x series are waaaaay better than anything on the market for sure. Actually, had I not been part of headfi, they alone would be enough. I think, however, that because I am part of headfi and have other favourites, that the A84x wasn't enough for me. Mine was the Japanese version, so it got loud - very loud. It could sustain high quality signal to about 70-80% of the volume scale without distortion on low Ω earphones, but not after. My iPod touch 2G-4G goes to about 90%, and then is worthless, but neither one would I ever have to listen that loud to, anyway. Gapless would almost be enough for me had I not wanted (or craved) the throwback to Minidisk, in PCM recording.


Edited by shigzeo - 3/6/11 at 5:15am
post #28 of 45


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post

For anyone considering getting the NWZ-A840 series Walkmans, please DO NOT get it and start looking elsewhere. Do not believe the 31 people on Amazon that have given it 5 stars or the 19 people that have given it 4 stars - what do they know? They're not true 'audiophiles': http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B003XMX5D6/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1 . And you must NOT believe any other positive reviews you may find elsewhere, they've all got it terribly wrong.

Let me tell you that this is one of the worst, if not THE worst DAP out there today. Here's why:

1) The volume limit is so, so bad that even the loudest masterings can hardly be heard, even when this DAP is paired with the most sensitive IEMs in the market

2) The line-out is absolute rubbish

3) The hissing is unbearable

4) The clicking artifacts are even worse than the hissing

5) It supports WAV (PCM), WMA, MP3 & AAC file formats, but not FLAC - this is unforgivable. You are not a true audiophile unless you use FLAC

6) It cannot record full PCM - something we all desperately want and need - via line in.

7) The EQ is a complete mess, it will distort anything and everything

8) If you have balanced armature IEMs, they'll sound so much worse than dynamic driver IEMs.

9) The screen is so tiny it's a joke to try and watch any video footage or view photographs

10) The Noise-cancelling feature is just a gimmick and the stock IEMs are no better than those found on even the cheapest DAPs out there

11) It has a propriety connector, like so many DAPs out there - this is completely unacceptable.

12) This DAP is so ridiculously thin that is utterly annoying.

The only nice thing this DAP has got is its looks and, come to think of it, it doesn't look any better that most other DAPs, actually I'm starting to really dislike its looks already. So, no I'm afraid there's nothing about this DAP I can recommend. So, in effect, it's 13 reasons, not 12, why you must NOT buy the NWZ-A840 series Walkmans.



In regards to :

5)You're not a true audiophile unless you use FLAC? Facepalm.gif Really? So ALAC isn't good enough for the Apple-using audiophiles then? rolleyes.gif

 

6) I have absolutely no need or use for line-in recording of any sort on my DAP.tongue_smile.gif


Edited by Achmedisdead - 3/6/11 at 5:44am
post #29 of 45

music:

 

Sorry if I have bestowed on you a false criticism. 

 

The reason for my earlier post was that it just seemed to me that if your reason for defending the a-series was genuine then why were you being so defensive in your posts? No-one has disagreed with you particularly strongly and most have a perfectly logical reason for doing so. No one is saying the a-series is anything other than a great DAP, just with a few problems, and you've reacted as though this is an a-series bashing thread.

post #30 of 45


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achmedisdead View Post

In regards to :

5)You're not a true audiophile unless you use FLAC? Facepalm.gif Really? So ALAC isn't good enough for the Apple-using audiophiles then? rolleyes.gif

 

6) I have absolutely no need or use for line-in recording of any sort on my DAP.tongue_smile.gif

 

 

Perhaps some may not have understood the 'humour' in point # 5 on my earlier post and my views on the often recommended, if not downright mandatory, use of FLAC files.

I personally DO NOT use, nor do I feel inclined to use, FLAC files. I didn't even use lossless files when I had my two 160GB iPod Classics. I believe there's a bit too much snobbery, exaggeration & misinformation re: the use of FLAC files or other lossless file formats, particularly true when people talk about top-tier IEMs and (high-end) customs, and some DAPs. It often seems to me that if you use FLAC or other lossless formats, you suddenly become an audiophile, when that clearly is not the case.

The same is often true when people think that because they have the most expensive customs, aftermarket cables, expensive amps and use FLAC files, they are an audiophile. In fact, the word audiophile makes me cringe every time I see it.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus_C View Post

music:

 

Sorry if I have bestowed on you a false criticism. 

 

The reason for my earlier post was that it just seemed to me that if your reason for defending the a-series was genuine then why were you being so defensive in your posts? No-one has disagreed with you particularly strongly and most have a perfectly logical reason for doing so. No one is saying the a-series is anything other than a great DAP, just with a few problems, and you've reacted as though this is an a-series bashing thread.

 


If you knew me a little and had read a few of my posts on HF, you'd probably know by now that I don't have a problem with people expressing their disagreement on a particular piece of gear I happen to enjoy. I encourage, in fact, a more balanced approach. There's often too much hyping, in my view, even of products I happen to favour. There's some serious bashing going on, too, but that is less common.

Although I found mark2410's review overall balanced and said so in my first post, I feel he failed to mention several key features of the A840 series DAP on his review (EQ, stock IEMs' SQ, different sound enhancements available, Noise-cancelling features, FM radio, video features, and so on). I felt Mark was being a little too critical of some other less relevant aspects. That would be OK for an ordinary post, but not for a review, in my view.

I know most of us here on HF, at the end of the day, are more interested in SQ, but not everybody, and even those interested solely in SQ were not being told of the EQ, noise-cancelling features or just the overall sound quality of the stock IEMs. I, for instance, find the FM radio excellent, and though I don't use it much, when I do, its very, very good.

I also felt that a couple of later posts focused namely on certain negative aspects -- even adding comments such as "...great review, Mark" , "Lovely review" or "Wonderful review Mark", -- which may have given the impression that this DAP may not be that good after all and actually, perhaps, even worse than people had initially been led to believe after Mark's review. 


Edited by music_4321 - 3/6/11 at 6:51am
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